Animal Crossing: New Horizon for the Nintendo Switch is no longer just a way to virtually make friends, catch bugs, and accrue debt in quarantine. On Shing Yin Khor's island, the video game is a place to experience recreations of contemporary art installations from the real world.
As Polygon reports, Khor is an actual installation artist whose work has slowed considerably since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic. With art museums closed across the country, they decided to build one of their own within the world of the game. "Screw you, Blathers," Khor tweeted, calling out the owl curator of the island's rival nature museum, "imma gonna build MoMA."
Khor's Animal Crossing installation includes digital versions of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, Barbara Kruger’s Untitled, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Umbrellas. There was even an interactive exhibit players could experience by visiting the island via online play. As was the case with Marina Abramović's The Artist Is Present, Khor's avatar sat at a table across from an empty chair while virtual guests took turns sitting down. According to one Twitter user who participated, the experience was "surprisingly emotional."
Unable to visit museums in real life, art lovers are finding creative ways to stay connected to culture. If you don't have the energy to build your own museum in Animal Crossing, here are a dozen institutions you can tour online.